Quo Vadimus

Friday, March 05, 2004


The Brown Bunny. #026:

If you want to make a movie, this is the package to own.

[via Gawker]

posted by Linus | 10:33 AM


Episode XIII.

She was now fairly sure that she wouldn't be eaten, but equally sure that this was some elaborate joke, or a new reality show, perhaps called "Candidates Are Stupid and Here's Why."

posted by Linus | 8:24 AM

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Quips, queries and queests.

Ofendorf & Co. balance the joshing with the informativation.

posted by Linus | 9:42 PM


The one Royal Tenenbaum child you never got to meet.

Pronounced like an apology, and sung like a manifesto.

[Head over to Esselle for more Nellie fantasticness.]

posted by Linus | 1:03 PM


Breaks frame, but could be a riot.

From The New Yorker, March 8, 2004:

The Back Page By Steve Martin


Dear Mel,

We love, love the script! The ending works great. You'll be getting a call from use to start negotiations for the book rights.

-- Love the Jesus character. So likable. He can't seem to catch a break! We identify with him because of it. One thing: I think we need to clearly state "the rules." Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save himself? Our creative people suggest that you could simply cut away to two spectators:

Why doesn't he use his superpowers to save himself?

He can only use his powers to help others, never himself

-- Does it matter which garden? Gethsemane is hard to say, and Eden is a much more recognizable garden. Just thinking out loud.

-- Our creative people suggest a clock visual fading in and out in certain scenes, like the Last Supper bit: "Thursday, 7:43 p.m.," or "Good Friday, 5:14 p.m."

-- Love the repetition of "Is it I?" Could be very funny. On the eighth inquiry, could Jesus just give a little look of exasperation into the camera? Breaks frame, but could be a riot.

-- Also, could he change water into wine in Last Supper scene? Would be a great moment, and it's legit. History compression is a movie tradition and could really brighten up the scene. Great trailer moment, too.

-- Love the flaying.

-- Could the rabbis be Hispanic? There's lots of hot Latino actors now, could give us a little zing at the box office. Research says there's some historical justification for it.

-- Possible title change: "Lethal Passion." Kinda works. The more I say it out loud, the more I like it.

-- Is there someplace where Jesus could be using an iBook? You know, now that I say it, it sounds ridiculous. Strike that. But think about it. Maybe we start a shot in Heaven with Jesus thoughtfully closing the top?

-- Love the idea of Monica Bellucci as Mary Magdalene (yow!). Our creative people suggest a name change to Heather. Could skew our audience a little younger.

-- Love Judas. Such a great villain. Our creative people suggest that he's a little complicated. Couldn't he be one thing? Just bad? Gives the movie much more of a motor. Also, thirty pieces of silver is not going to get anyone excited. I think it'd be very simple to make him a "new millionaire." Bring in the cash on a tray. Great dilemma that the audience can identify with.

-- Minor spelling error: on page 18, in the description of the bystanders, there should be a space between the words "Jew" and "boy".

-- Merchandising issue: it seems the Cross image had been done to death and is public domain -- we can't own it. Could the Crucifixion scene involve something else? A Toyota would be wrong, but maybe there's a shape we can copyright, like a wagon wheel?

-- I'm assuming "The dialogue is in Aramaic" is a typo for "American". If not, call me on my cell, or I'm at home all weekend.

By the way, I'm sending a group of staffers on a cruise to the North Pole, coincidentally around the time of your picture's release. Would love to invite your dad!

See you at the movies!


posted by Linus | 7:28 AM

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


As opposed to ludicrous.

Tuning in for Brent, staying for Tim and Dawn.

posted by Linus | 12:02 PM


Episode XII.

"We're here to help."

posted by Linus | 7:46 AM


Fun Movie News. #069:

Joss Whedon's Serenity.

posted by Linus | 7:42 AM

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Michael Stipe was always No. 4.

Chuck Klosterman, deserves a quiet night when things were new.

posted by Linus | 9:23 PM


Telly Alert. #017:

Cracking Up (Fox, premieres Tuesday, March 9th, 9:30 p.m.)

From the March 2004 Esquire:

Mike White

Life is good for the funniest great screenwriter in Hollywood. So why does his return to TV have him freaking out?

by Mike Sager

On a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles, on the back lot of the Fox studios, Mike White is frozen in the doorway of his office, chewing on a fingernail. He has just finished a long meeting with the network brass. His eyes are wide and unblinking. His strawberry-blond hair is disheveled. His face is florid. In a few days, he's due to begin shooting the first episode of the new TV show he's producing, a midseason replacement called Cracking Up.

"You've kind of hit me at a very, like, curious moment," he says, gnawing now on his cuticle. His tone is childlike and wondrous—a fey little boy from the Valley, precocious and wanting to please, clearly annoyed, toe tapping. "This TV show just got ugly. Now I'm full of rage and hate."

You want to take a minute and collect yourself?

He sits behind his desk. His computer is candy-apple red. It looks like a toy. White—the suddenly ballyhooed screenwriter with the penchant for writing himself into his movies—looks very much like himself. Like Ned Schneebly, the henpecked substitute teacher from School of Rock; like Corny, the evangelical security guard from The Good Girl; like Buck, the lovelorn suitor from Chuck & Buck. Like a nerdy, thirty-three-year-old outcast from Pasadena who set out to be a playwright and ended up the talk of the town.

"I'll be fine," he says. "You'll just have a window into the true dark night of the soul. Here's your angle: a desperate network trying to destroy the only show that can bring them out of their doldrums."

Are you sure you want to . . .

"Destroy my career?"

Why don't you just tell me about the show.

"Maybe you're right." He takes a deep breath, puffing his cheeks out like a fish. With his index finger, he pops one side. "It's a hilarious comedy. It's Molly Shannon and Jason Schwartzman. Jason plays a psych student who is enlisted by his professor to live in the guesthouse of this rich Beverly Hills family because their youngest son is having problems. And then he gets in there and realizes that the kid is the normal one and everyone else is crazy. It's single-camera, half hour. It was my idea. I was really excited about it a couple of days ago."

And then?

A high-pitched maniacal titter, followed by a beatific smile. "There's a lot of, like, panicking going on?" he says, his tone rising as if asking a question, a hallmark of Valleyspeak. "Over at the network? Their whole fall lineup has gone into the . . . into the"—he searches for the right word—"the dumps? So my show went from being very under the radar and on our own to now, where everything is extremely scrutinized!" He throws up his hands beseechingly, like a preacher invoking the Lord, a bit of business he may have learned from his dad, the Reverend Mel White, who once earned a comfortable living as a ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell. Now he leads a gay ministry.

"All the things that seemed so cool and interesting about being in business with me a short time ago now seem like, um, scary and ah . . ." His voice trails away.

Why are you fooling around with TV anyway? With School of Rock such a big hit, shouldn't you be doing another movie?

"I like to write a lot? And I like to keep going back to the same characters and stuff? And I think that's why I keep being lured back into television. But I've never worked on a half-hour show before. Dawson's Creek, Freaks and Geeks, Pasadena—the hour-long thing is different. They leave you alone. With this, they're really in my face! The process is so different. They're from the Land of Jokes."

The land of what ?

He does a voice like a kid imitating a network exec: "This needs to be 100 percent funnier! We need twenty more jokes in this script!"

Twenty exactly?

"Yeah! It's like, Okay! Lemme write this down." He pretends to write on the desktop. "One hundred percent funnier. Twenty more jokes. Got it!"

What are you going to do?

"It kind of goes back to, like, religious camp when I was getting bullied by all the religious kids. And my way of dealing with bullying is becoming like Carrie or something. Like becoming really weird so they'll leave me alone. At this point, I'm thinking about making one of the characters in the show actually be, like, a knock-knock-joke teller. He could come in, say a joke, and leave!"

He leans all the way forward—down, down, down—until his brow comes to rest against the desktop with a muffled thunk .

"Arrrrrgh ," he moans.

ONE MONTH LATER, he is on the phone feeling much more sanguine. "I'm totally excited about the show. I'm in love with the cast," he says breathlessly. "I feel like we have the opportunity to do something different and fun and cool? I'm really bullish about the actual show?"

That's great to hear. Because when I saw you—

Embarrassed giggle. "I, uh, was sort of in the midst of a bitchy moment."

We all have our days.

"Look, the process has been brutal. I mean, I come home every night wanting to pull my hair out. It's weird when you're finally doing the thing you've always wanted to do, and you've never been more miserable and bitchy and a little baby. But I guess it's part of the deal. You get to do something that's really fun, but they want to make sure it's not too much fun. There's always a price to pay."

What kind of price?

"Seventeen more jokes? By Thursday?"

posted by Linus | 7:07 PM


Telly Alert. #016:

Wonderfalls (Fox, premieres Friday, March 12th, 9:00 p.m.)

File it somewhere between Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development.

UPDATE: 39 seconds of Andy Partridge.

posted by Linus | 7:35 AM


Episode XI.

The rest of the class was rapt; a few were drooling.

posted by Linus | 7:21 AM

Monday, March 01, 2004


Year of the MP3 Blog.

Esselle dives in.

posted by Linus | 8:17 AM


Fun Movie News. #068:

Liev Schreiber will adapt the Safran Foer.

UPDATE: Elijah.

posted by Linus | 7:55 AM


Fun Movie News. #067:

Del Toro as Moe.

posted by Linus | 7:52 AM


When I feel like skipping, I absolutely do not skip.

George Saunders's Manly Scale of Absolute Gender.

posted by Linus | 7:48 AM

Sunday, February 29, 2004


Telly Alert. #015:

The Sopranos 5.0 (HBO, premieres Sunday, March 7th, 9:00 p.m.)

Don't worry, David Chase says everything is O.K.

posted by Linus | 10:30 AM